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Colonia Housing and Infrastructure is a three-volume series, intended to provide a comprehensive understanding of the problems and issues facing colonias along the Texas-Mexico border. Colonias are private property located outside city limits, some in nearby suburbs and others extremely remote. As unincorporated areas, colonias do not have local city governments. For many years the problem of urban water resources and affordable housing for low income families living in colonias along the Texas-Mexico border have remained largely unresolved.
The three volumes address two main pressing needs: gaining access to water and wastewater infrastructure programs, and addressing the massively substandard housing conditions on the U.S. side of the Texas-Mexico border. Together, the volumes contain extensive information detailing the position of colonia areas presented in more than 150 tables and figures of original data not available elsewhere.
Volume 2 examines state, federal, and international programs which provide financing for new or improved water distribution and wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure for the colonias in the Texas-Mexico border region. Much of the report focuses on the state programs, especially the Texas Water Development Board's Economically Distressed Areas Program (EDAP) and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs' Colonia Fund. The report identifies colonias which do not or will not have access to potable water and wastewater collection infrastructure even after the completion of the many projects currently underway.
The study analyzes the methodology currently used by Texas to estimate colonia infrastructure needs, describing its strengths and shortcomings. It also examines the cost estimate for providing additional infrastructure for these colonias and makes recommendations for the legislature to consider when making appropriations decisions.
The report recommends that the Texas Legislature consider (1) establishing statewide regulations that mandate utility provision of infrastructure prior to subdivision, platting and sale of individual home lots, (2) amending the EDAP legislation to allow individual colonias to make independent applications for infrastructure funding, and (3) appropriating additional EDAP funding for colonias with unmet needs.
We are working to digitize all of our archived publications and are no longer offering hard copy publications for sale. Digital and hard copies of our publications can be found at The University of Texas at Austin Library site.